She returned on Wednesday, in fact: I too have returned, to blogging sloth in my case. But she is back, a seasoned traveler, complete with hand-me-downs and the fruits of a back-to-school shopping spree with her aunt and cousins.
As I took my place in the checkpoint line at the airport, I prayed that no one would confiscate my knitting needles: as previously advertised, I'm working on the Trekking sock — yes, there is still only one, so sue me — on size-0 Addis using the magic-loop method, the Addis being the most tolerable circs I could find in that size, although still a bit blunt for my taste. Long, pointy metal things, I thought: uh oh. (Yes, the TSA web site does say knitting needles are permitted; it also says screeners can confiscate pretty much anything they want if they think it might be dangerous. To be fair, I've heard of no abuses of this policy along the lines of, "Better hand over that diamond ring, ma'am, someone could get hurt.") I was passed without comment, needles and all, although when they pulled the guy behind me out for extra screening, I did wonder if they'd confused my bag with his.
I proceeded to the gate, where I took up a position as close to the jetway door as possible. Knitting furiously kept my panic down to a manageable level for the next half hour, so that I refrained from grabbing airline employees by the throat and screaming, "What have you done with my daughter???"
as more people than the plane could possibly hold came off with no Miss B in sight. Finally she appeared, accompanied by a flight attendant and quite unfazed, and I put my knitting away and tried to pass for normal as I showed my ID to reclaim her. I must have succeeded, as no one tried to take either of us into protective custody.
Miss B's aunt had given her an extra bag in which to pack the additional stuff she had acquired, so we expected to find two bags at baggage claim. I thought about what a fun subway ride home we would have, dragging our bags behind us, but I needn't have worried: only one bag appeared. Eventually we found the guy handing out lost-baggage claim forms, beset by half a dozen people from two flights who were missing bags. I started to mutter silently about penny-pinching, corner-cutting airlines, but it was probably not their fault. When Miss B's bag was delivered to our house the next day it contained a calling card from the TSA: we have protected you by searching your bag and making it miss your flight. Their curiosity was probably aroused by the x-ray of all of her various toiletries (why, yes, my daughter really does travel with five kinds of hair gel). The lost-baggage guy was very good-natured about all of this, asking if the bag had a name tag (yes), and if the tag was missing, what was in the bag, so they could identify it. "Five pairs of shoes," she said. I wanted to explain that I really didn't equip my daughter with that many shoes and tell him about her four girl cousins and their hand-me-downs, but I kept quiet, except maybe for addressing her as "Imelda."
On the return subway ride we used the new "Charlie tickets" (Boston's having been until very recently the last major transit system in the world still using tokens), and Miss B got the benefit of my rendition of Charlie on the MTA
. If you are not from the Boston area, or possibly even if you are, and you are unfamiliar with this song, go read the lyrics and then come back and tell me what question immediately popped into your head. In an effort to rival Ruth
for World's Easiest Sock-Yarn Contest, I'll put everyone who comes up with the standard question into a drawing for some sock yarn. (I don't want to hear any ridiculous excuses about already having enough. C'mon, you know you want it.)